No. 9 Golden Bears Get 3-0 Win Over San Francisco

Sept. 20, 2008

FULLERTON, Calif. - The No. 9-ranked California volleyball team (9-1, 0-0 Pac-10) needed every point in a 3-0 win (25-23, 26-24, 26-24) over San Francisco (7-4, 0-0 WCC) today at the 2008 Crowne Plaza Volleyball Classic at Titan Gym in Fullerton, Calif. The Bears were once again led by junior All-America outside hitter Hana Cutura and her 18 kills (2e, 30att, .533). Cutura posted her 1,000th career kill against Central Connecticut State and is threatening a place in the Cal all-time career top-10, now with 1,018 kills.

Cal completed the match hitting .361 with 52 kills (13e, 108att) and out-blocked the Dons 10.0 to 5.0. San Francisco sophomore opposite hitter Sarah Mandala led USF with 11 kills (5e, 21att, .286) and had senior outside hitter Zuzana Bednarova on her heels with 10 kills (7e, 29att, .103). As a team, the Dons attacked at a .217 rate and got 42 kills (19e, 106att). Cal junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley recorded a career-high eight total blocks (one solo) and put in her share of the offense with eight kills (1e, 16att, .438). Senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon also logged eight kills (2e, 16att, .375) and had two blocks of her own. Freshman outside Tarah Murrey added six kills (2e, 17att, .235) and nine digs.

The Dons jumped out to an early 8-3 lead in the third set before the Bears came roaring back to tie things at 13 points apiece on a Cutura service ace. The teams traded leads until the Bears stretched their advantage to four at 21-17. San Francisco would not be denied however, knotting things up one last time at 24 off Mandala kill on an overplayed ball. Cal went back on top when Cutura put down a cross-court shot and finished things off as senior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck knocked down her seventh kill of the day (4e, 14att, .214) on another overplayed ball to seal the deal for the Bears. Beck is just 12 kills shy of reaching 1,000 kills in her career.

Wiley put an overplayed ball to the floor to notch Cal's 18th kill (6e, 41att, .293) of the second set, giving the Bears the 26-24 win and a 2-0 advantage heading into the third. The Dons took a 24-23 lead on a kill from Mandala but Murrey's kill forced the seventh tie-score of the second set before Solomon's shot gave the Bears set-point. Cal got four team blocks and dug up 15 balls to keep the set close even with San Francisco leading through the bulk of the session.

In the first set, San Francisco senior outside hitter Addie Webster put a shot off the Cal block to give the Dons a three-point advantage at 22-19, but the Bears stiffened up on defense and held the Dons to just one more point. Cal ripped off a 6-1 run to end the opening set, getting two kills from Solomon and one from Beck; forcing the Dons into a couple of errors. The Bears completed the first set with a .444 attack percentage on 27 attacks (16k, 4e) and four total team blocks. Cutura led all players with six kills (0e, 10att, .600) but Solomon was right behind her with five kills (0e, 6att, .833). The Bear defense held the Dons to just 13 kills on 34 attacks (8e, .127).

The Bears return to the court this evening (Sept. 20) for a 7 p.m. bout against tournament-host Cal State Fullerton at Titan Gym. The Titans lost, 3-1 to San Francisco in their first match of the tourney and will face Central Connecticut State this afternoon before closing out play with the Bears.

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